By Danny restivo
Even though Army Staff Sgt. Robert Kirkpatrick of Girard was 6,908 miles away from his wife during the birth of their second child Tuesday, he was a part of the delivery experience.
Kirkpatrick, a soldier with the 4th Infantry division in Fort Carson, Colo., is currently deployed to eastern Afghanistan. He was able to watch his wife, Natalie, give birth to their second daughter at ValleyCare Northside Medical Center via Skype, on the eve of America’s birthday.
“It was nice to get to see him and it felt like he was actually there,” said Natalie Kirkpatrick, of Peoria, Ill., who gave birth to a 5 pound, 6 ounce girl at 7:56 a.m. Natalie came to Girard to stay with her husband’s family during the pregnancy.
Since the birth was a planned cesarean section, Staff Sgt. Kirkpatrick notified his command in Afghanistan, which provided him time to watch the birth.
Family members held a laptop so the couple could talk to each other, while doctors and nurses provided care and advice.
“Everybody made it really comfortable,” she said. “All the doctors and nurses were interacting with us in our conversations, and suggesting baby names.”
Although the couple hasn’t decided on the name, Natalie was happy to share the brief but special moment with her husband.
Staff Sgt. Kirkpatrick has been deployed four times throughout his 11-year military career, said his father Bob Kirkpatrick, also an Army veteran.
He said the family had no plans for a Fourth of July baby. “It’s purely coincidence,” he said.
With her first daughter Karadee, 2, born on the Pearl Harbor anniversary in 2009, and a husband who signed enlistment papers for the Army on the eve of 9/11, Natalie Kirkpatrick didn’t want a family celebration on the same day as another notable American event.
“I know I wouldn’t want to share my birthday with Independence Day,” she said.
Natalie and her baby daughter are scheduled to be released from the hospital on Friday, while her husband is set to come home in December.